A Letter to Santa from a Tired Teacher in 2020

The 2020 holiday season is different—but really no different than anything else that's happened in 2020. As the year winds down, what are teachers asking Santa or the sages for in 2021? Advisory Board member, Mikaela, shares her cockeyed optimism in her own letter to Santa, where she asks for some personal effects to make her a more effective teacher, but more importantly, implores him for peace, prosperity, and health and well-being for all in 2021.

A letter to Santa from a tired teacher in 2020

Dear Santa,

I’m a little exhausted writing this, so please forgive any grammatical errors or lofty wishes that we both know you and the elves can’t put together by Christmas next week.

I’ve been trying my best this year, but I have to be honest — I have no idea if I’ve been good. Are the students learning? Are the students okay? Is my family okay? Am I okay? Will this pandemic ever end? These questions keep swimming around my head. So, if I didn’t make the "Nice List" this year, just know I have been trying my best.

When I sat down to come up with a wishlist for the holidays, there were too many things I wanted to ask for (I don't want to appear selfish!):

For myself:

  • Lots of wine and chocolate!
  • To feel safe at school!
  • Spa and massage package for the next 3 years!
  • Blue light glasses to preserve my vision
  • A bottomless [i.e. very large] coffee mug!
  • Punching bag or extra-large pillow I can scream into!
  • Living space big enough for my family to comfortably and simultaneously teach, work, and learn remotely 
  • Reassurance that I’m helping even just one of my students?
  • Sleep!!!
  • Outdoor video games
  • Home gym

For everyone:

  • COVID vaccine for all!
  • Strong and free wifi
  • Jobs for all parents of students!
  • Field trips
  • Safe travel!
  • Justice!
  • Peace?
  • A snow globe with the message: "2020 is the year that changed education and the world!" 

I know this is a tall order, but I still want all of these things. Because I'm beginning to realize that what I need your help with, more than anything else this Christmas, is a promise that this was not a lost year. 

So, tie each inequity I’m discovering in remote schooling with a bow, and leave a note reminding me that I need to address it when we return to our physical classrooms. Put every new platform or strategy that helps students learn things in a bag with tissue paper so I can take it back to school with me when it reopens. In little gift boxes, put all the new ways I’ve been communicating with and incorporating families into remote and hybrid learning. Send me postcards with all the new ideas virtual learning has helped me and other teachers discover so I don’t forget them when things return to “normal.” Lastly, please package up all the lessons I’m personally learning due to this pandemic and put them under my tree next Christmas. 

This year hasn’t been easy for any of us and I'm (as I'm sure everyone else is too) ready for a new year to begin. Just remember that Christmas is about hope and I have to believe, despite the devastation of this year, that there is hope for 2021. Please, Santa, don’t let me think of 2020 as a “lost year"! Instead, I want to see the lessons learned, stories of hope, and positive changes that have been borne out of 2020 under the tree on Christmas morning.


A Teacher from the Present, 2020 


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